Sep 12, 2014

Boundary condition of grounding lines prior to collapse, Larsen-B Ice Shelf, Antarctica

M. Rebesco, E. Domack, F. Zgur, C. Lavoie, A. Leventer, S. Brachfeld, V. Willmott, G. Halverson, M. Truffer, T. Scambos, J. Smith, E. Pettit
  • Finds that the Larsen-B Ice Shelf in Antarctica collapsed in 2002 because of a regional increase in surface temperature
  • States that this finding will surprise many who supposed that the shelf's disintegration probably occurred because of thinning of the ice shelf and the resulting loss of support by the sea floor beneath it
  • The authors mapped the sea floor beneath the ice shelf before it fell apart, which revealed that the modern ice sheet grounding line was established around 12,000 years ago and has since remained unchanged
  • They find that if the ice shelf did not collapse because of thinning from below, then it must have been caused by warming from above